Location tracking probe expands despite 2001 FCC law requiring all phones track users

123457

Comments

  • Reply 121 of 145
    steven n.steven n. Posts: 1,229member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    If you take a look at the link nvidea2008 provided, http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/ you'll see they're saying the file does track your location. It's not tracking cell towers and the granularity they show in the video seems to be within a block or two, not the mile or two, 45 miles, or half a continent away others have said.



    And again, the claim that Apple discloses this usage is someone's guess on what's going on and their interpretation of a dialog box. And it's a guess that make no sense what so ever as the data isn't sent to Apple but the dialog box talks about sending data to Apple.



    The point to me posting this isn't to try to pick argument with you, but to point out the people who should be describing Apples policies and practices is Apple, not random guys on the net.



    Wow, are you were wrong on so many accounts. F-Secure actually trapped the network data going every 12 hours. Not based on a dialog box. Turns out it is NOT (as I had shown yesterday) tracking the location of the phone but other items around the phone that can be miles away.
  • Reply 122 of 145
    dickprinterdickprinter Posts: 1,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post


    I don't want to pick on you in particular, because you seem like one of the non-obnoxious commenters here, but that's a standard privacy comment that's universally not true. Just because you're not doing anything "bad", doesn't mean that you're willing to share everything will everyone. A simple example: to take you at your word ("I have nothing to hide"), please post your full name (including full middle name), your address, your social security #, and your birthdate. I trust you won't do that, and I won't blame you for having to backtrack on your statement above.



    So with the mutual understanding that you DO have things to hide, i.e. you don't want out in plain sight, instead the real issue is to decide where the lines should be drawn. You might be the most law-abiding citizen around (as I am, no joke), but do you want a web cam running in your bedroom 24/7? Probably not, and it has nothing to do with having anything to hide, it's just basic privacy. As is letting someone monitor your physical location 24/7, without providing any legal protections over that data.



    Yes, Apple may (we hope) be a "good guy" right now, and they probably aren't doing anything nefarious with this information, but there's nothing more than a Privacy Policy between your data and other parties. That privacy policy can be amended at any time, and how many people are going to (be able to!) just stop using their phones? And who's to say any other smart phone will be any better?




    While I'm not willing to share everything and anything about myself, where I am at any given moment is not something that bothers me. I believe and trust in Apple about what they say the information will be used for and do take the necessary steps (via iTunes backup encryption and phone passcodes) to ensure my data is safe from probing eyes. I can't comfortably say that about Google, though. Why? It's just a feeling, plus the fact that Eric Schmidt said, eventually, Google will know more about me and will be able to telegragh my moves and what I want, better than I do/will. (paraphrased)



    If my anonymous info will help technology and my user experience in the future, I'm all game. Again, I trust Apple's word on this and I don't feel they have been anything but open and genuine (to the degree that Apple usually is, albeit minimal). I, for one, always read the fine print so I can make educated choices.



    Having said that, am I being naive?



    PS: Thanks for not picking on me.





    Edit: And this only makes me feel more comfortable in my feeling and opinion about the matter.



    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ng_anyone.html
  • Reply 123 of 145
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    The big misunderstanding about what this .db file contains has been cleared up by Apple. It's now very clear that it's not a tracking file.



    Indeed, it's almost the opposite! This is information that Apple is DOWNLOADING to YOU. Apple is sending information based on where you are per the agreements you made to allow location tracking. They take that tracking, and send to you the tower information, and the info about WiFi hotspots in order to make location finding for your phone easier, faster, and more accurate.



    As we know, from what Apple has said, and some technical writers who have looked at their own .db files, this file can have towers that are as close as a couple of hundred feet away, or as far as a hundred miles away. Whichever towers will help you in getting the best data for the services you are using.



    For that reason, the file is useless as far as tracking goes, except in the most general direction, if you are going on a long trip. Otherwise, nada! Why? Because the way the towers are selected, there is no way for anyone to tell which ones you are near. Are you nearer the tower a hundred miles away, or the one on the next block? YOU know that, because you know where you are anyway. But for someone who doesn't know where you are, the file can't tell them that.



    Let's say that you are in the city. You move around a fair amount. That leads to hundreds of bits of info about towers. If you're one foot closer to one or the other, it might select one or the other randomly. it might select four. Which ones are you closer to? It doesn't say. They could be two miles apart. That could put me in another borough here in NYC. But the information would still be useful to you in that it might be the best info for the location app you're using at the time. I would imagine that the closest tower isn't always the most useful for this purpose, or they wouldn't be using towers that are a hundred miles away.



    And about that hundred miles. If two towers are a hundred miles apart in your file at a particular time, which one were you closer to, and by how much? It might be impossible to tell any closer than dozens of miles.



    So this isn't a tracking file at all. It's info that Apple sends to you that isn't accurate enough to tell anyone anything other than in the most general way, and likely not even that most of the time.



    A big to do over nothing.
  • Reply 124 of 145
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member
    Overall, I was pretty pleased to see Apple's official response today. It took a little longer than I think many people would have liked, but it's generally plausible, and I still feel that Apple is generally one of the "good guys" in the realm of privacy. Minor issues pointed out here:



    When they say that "Apple is not tracking the location of your phone", it may be true from a pedantic nature, but general location information about your phone was (and will continue to be if you opt to allow it) being passed along to Apple. It may not be highly accurate data, and it may have been purged or otherwise aggregated on their end to the point of not identifiable, but location data was passed on.



    When they say "This data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form. Apple cannot identify the source of this data.", I don't quite buy that. If they choose to take note of where the data came from, it could be identified, even if the identifying info is not explicitly in the data itself. Yes, this is a minor point, just throwing it out for sake of completeness.



    Lastly, on this PR statement, I don't believe the two issues were really "bugs", but I could be convinced that they were simple oversights. Yes, there is a difference, although it's not really that important in the scope of explanation to the public.



    But overall, these are small nits, and I applaud Apple for coming out and not only explaining what's going on, but taking steps to rectify the problems. To be honest though, they had little choice. The media and public at large were not going to let go of this easily.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    They make it clear that it is anonymous. As we can see from Apple's statement today, this isn't what you insist it is.



    As I alluded to above, any sizable amount of location-based data, even with no user-identifying bits, should not be assumed to be anonymous. It's possible that this particular data was not accurate enough to be identifiable, but I haven't seen anything (yet) that leads me to believe that's the case. Here is a great article, worth reading in its entirety:



    http://33bits.org/2009/05/13/your-mo...ocation-pairs/



    The PARC article referenced within is also good, but more technical than most people will want to read.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Because of that, using this to track people is useless, and hasn't been allowed in court so far.



    Key words: so far ! ;-)



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dickprinter View Post


    I, for one, always read the fine print so I can make educated choices.



    Having said that, am I being naive?



    PS: Thanks for not picking on me.



    As for reading fine print, you and I are in a very small minority!



    As for being naive, that's a pretty harsh statement. But I do think everyone should consider that whenever vast amounts of personal information is in the hands of any 3rd party, it's dangerous. Apple does seem like one of the "good guys", but:



    1) management changes, the data they own never goes away.

    2) security breaches occur all the time, and the more data in any one place, the bigger a target it is.

    3) companies are indeed gathering more and more profiling information all the time (not just location-based)

    4) when the feds do step in and make use of that data, the public absolutely does not get to know about it (this is a fact).



    Now, this brings up the real elephant trying to sneak around in the back of the room: Google!



    Apple is in business to sell computers, iPhones, etc. Gathering personal information is helpful to them, but ancillary. It's easy to see why they'll want to enable various features that rely on personal information, but making the vast majority of that data opt-in does not run completely contrary to their business model.



    Google, on the other hand, needs to know as much personal profile information about their users as possible because it's the crux of their business. I am dying to see how Google responds to this inquiry!
  • Reply 125 of 145
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post


    Overall, I was pretty pleased to see Apple's official response today. It took a little longer than I think many people would have liked, but it's generally plausible, and I still feel that Apple is generally one of the "good guys" in the realm of privacy. Minor issues pointed out here:



    When they say that "Apple is not tracking the location of your phone", it may be true from a pedantic nature, but general location information about your phone was (and will continue to be if you opt to allow it) being passed along to Apple. It may not be highly accurate data, and it may have been purged or otherwise aggregated on their end to the point of not identifiable, but location data was passed on.



    When they say "This data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form. Apple cannot identify the source of this data.", I don't quite buy that. If they choose to take note of where the data came from, it could be identified, even if the identifying info is not explicitly in the data itself. Yes, this is a minor point, just throwing it out for sake of completeness.



    Lastly, on this PR statement, I don't believe the two issues were really "bugs", but I could be convinced that they were simple oversights. Yes, there is a difference, although it's not really that important in the scope of explanation to the public.



    But overall, these are small nits, and I applaud Apple for coming out and not only explaining what's going on, but taking steps to rectify the problems. To be honest though, they had little choice. The media and public at large were not going to let go of this easily.







    As I alluded to above, any sizable amount of location-based data, even with no user-identifying bits, should not be assumed to be anonymous. It's possible that this particular data was not accurate enough to be identifiable, but I haven't seen anything (yet) that leads me to believe that's the case. Here is a great article, worth reading in its entirety:



    http://33bits.org/2009/05/13/your-mo...ocation-pairs/



    The PARC article referenced within is also good, but more technical than most people will want to read.







    Key words: so far ! ;-)







    As for reading fine print, you and I are in a very small minority!



    As for being naive, that's a pretty harsh statement. But I do think everyone should consider that whenever vast amounts of personal information is in the hands of any 3rd party, it's dangerous. Apple does seem like one of the "good guys", but:



    1) management changes, the data they own never goes away.

    2) security breaches occur all the time, and the more data in any one place, the bigger a target it is.

    3) companies are indeed gathering more and more profiling information all the time (not just location-based)

    4) when the feds do step in and make use of that data, the public absolutely does not get to know about it (this is a fact).



    Now, this brings up the real elephant trying to sneak around in the back of the room: Google!



    Apple is in business to sell computers, iPhones, etc. Gathering personal information is helpful to them, but ancillary. It's easy to see why they'll want to enable various features that rely on personal information, but making the vast majority of that data opt-in does not run completely contrary to their business model.



    Google, on the other hand, needs to know as much personal profile information about their users as possible because it's the crux of their business. I am dying to see how Google responds to this inquiry!



    As regards to Apple, you're overdoing it. You might as well question everything everyone says, including your own statements, for truth. Apple says it's anonymous and encrypted when we send info to them, and that the .db file is sent to us from them, and there is no reason to doubt that. I understand what it is, and what they have been doing, because they explained it very clearly. The issue is finished.



    Google is another matter, because I find what they say to be disingenuous. Why did they collect all of that information when doing street view? How could a program mistakenly record that kind of data that has nothing to do with what its purpose supposedly was for? And why does Google admittedly KEEP that data? They supposedly even had an argument with the German government when they were told to delete it.



    But, in light of what Schmitt has said, it makes sense that Google is deliberately collecting user specific information despite what they may say otherwise. Unless they can somehow show that what he said isn't any longer the case. As to what that was, it was this; Google will know more about yourself than you will, and it will make decisions for you before you know you want to make them. He's said that in at least one public speech, and repeated it at least one time more.



    Google's regard for privacy is also indicated by another thing he said when questioned about people not being happy about having their house in Street View. He told them they could move afterwards. Of course, when he was questioned about that, he said that he didn't mean it, but it didn't really address the problem, and when considering his other remarks, I think he was serious.



    Imagine if Jobs had said these things!
  • Reply 126 of 145
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    Mel , I didn't take you for a conspiracy theorist. Those are really silly statements, implying that Apple statements should be trusted because they were made by Apple, but Google should naturally be distrusted, because, after all, they aren't Apple.



    Steve Jobs was certainly stumbling all over himself to welcome them as partners just a few years ago. Claiming they've always been up to sneaky stuff paints Apple with the same brush doesn't it since they had to be aware of who they were?
  • Reply 127 of 145
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Mel , I didn't take you for a conspiracy theorist. Those are really silly statements, implying that Apple statements should be trusted because they were made by Apple, but Google should naturally be distrusted, because, after all, they aren't Apple.



    Steve Jobs was certainly stumbling all over himself to welcome them as partners just a few years ago. Claiming they've always been up to sneaky stuff paints Apple with the same brush doesn't it since they had to be aware of who they were?



    The basis of what he says has been proven accurate over the years. Remember that with Google you are the product. All those free services they offer are selling us. We are the Eloi (The Time Machine reference).



    Apple on the other hand is selling HW. It behooves them to make the SW as usable as possible, the HW as desirable as possible and the ecosystem as strong as possible to encourage more sales. That also includes not making us feel like they are going to lose a customer by selling our personal info for a comparatively small and short-term gain, or even risking its security in the case of iTunes Store, which is an ever growing concern that Apple will need to throw more and more and hope it’s enough.



    It’s not that one is any is better or worse, or more or less evil than the other. It’s just fundamental differences on their products and customers.
  • Reply 128 of 145
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The basis of what he says has been proven accurate over the years. Remember that with Google you are the product. All those free services they offer are selling us. We are the Eloi (The Time Machine reference).



    Apple on the other hand is selling HW. It behooves them to make the SW as usable as possible, the HW as desirable as possible and the ecosystem as strong as possible to encourage more sales. That also includes not making us feel like they are going to lose a customer by selling our personal info for a comparatively small and short-term gain, or even risking its security in the case of iTunes Store, which is an ever growing concern that Apple will need to throw more and more and hope it’s enough.



    It’s not that one is any is better or worse, or more or less evil than the other. It’s just fundamental differences on their products and customers.



    But Google's revenue is not from selling your info. It's targeting advertising based on your marketing profile, but kept by Google. A big difference in my eyes.



    Apple also sees the importance of gathering user marketing stats, and willing to bend their own privacy policies to get what they need to deliver targeted iAds. Rather than their standard "Opt-in", they've chosen to use a rarely mentioned webpage to opt-out, something very few users would take the time to do if they were even aware of it. Apple keeps that detailed market data they collected on you and others to themselves just as Google does, and uses it to entice advertisers to trust Apple to deliver the message to the proper market.



    Other than on a smaller scale, I don't see that much difference with the way they each look at advertising revenue. They both want and need to harvest their users market data to deliver targeted services and ads to bring in increased revenues. Apple just has additional ways to get your money, so less emphasis on the advertising. . . for now.



    IMO this odd hatred for Google comes solely from the rumored "Steve Jobs stabbed in the back" story. Everything was hunky-dory when they were on-board with Apple's plans. If they were still partnered against the evil Microsoft there would be few if any complaints here about Google.
  • Reply 129 of 145
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    As regards to Apple, you're overdoing it. You might as well question everything everyone says, including your own statements, for truth. Apple says it's anonymous and encrypted when we send info to them, and that the .db file is sent to us from them, and there is no reason to doubt that. I understand what it is, and what they have been doing, because they explained it very clearly. The issue is finished.



    You know what they say: Trust, but Verify! ;-)



    I do believe the .db file comes from Apple, and I do believe them if they say the info we send to them is encrypted. But it's not really anonymous, because they know where it's coming from. It's like if I emailed you some "anonymized" data about myself. The data might be clean, but all you have to do is look at the email headers to know it's me! If you have a diligent data gathering process, you'll scoop that data out and disassociate it with the original email, and I hope they do that, but I don't know that we'll ever have insights into that level of detail.



    The other thing I'm still curious about is that in order for the .db data that's sent to the device to be relevant, geo-location data by necessity needs to be sent to Apple. Otherwise they wouldn't know which bits of data to send to the device. I feel like I'm still missing something here.



    The most important thing they said, and I hope I'm interpreting this correctly because it was worded oddly, is that if you opt out of location features, they won't send or gather this information at all. If the research detectives verify that to be true, then I think I'm satisfied. And I am NOT an easy person to satisfy with regards to privacy issues!



    On everything below regarding Google, I am in 100% agreement. I believe they're up against some tricky requirements as far as deletion of data, since some jurisdictions treat that as deleting evidence. But all-in-all, there was no excuse for what they did.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Google is another matter, because I find what they say to be disingenuous. Why did they collect all of that information when doing street view? How could a program mistakenly record that kind of data that has nothing to do with what its purpose supposedly was for? And why does Google admittedly KEEP that data? They supposedly even had an argument with the German government when they were told to delete it.



    But, in light of what Schmitt has said, it makes sense that Google is deliberately collecting user specific information despite what they may say otherwise. Unless they can somehow show that what he said isn't any longer the case. As to what that was, it was this; Google will know more about yourself than you will, and it will make decisions for you before you know you want to make them. He's said that in at least one public speech, and repeated it at least one time more.



    Google's regard for privacy is also indicated by another thing he said when questioned about people not being happy about having their house in Street View. He told them they could move afterwards. Of course, when he was questioned about that, he said that he didn't mean it, but it didn't really address the problem, and when considering his other remarks, I think he was serious.



    Imagine if Jobs had said these things!



  • Reply 130 of 145
    blah64blah64 Posts: 993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The basis of what he says has been proven accurate over the years. Remember that with Google you are the product. All those free services they offer are selling us. We are the Eloi (The Time Machine reference).



    Apple on the other hand is selling HW. It behooves them to make the SW as usable as possible, the HW as desirable as possible and the ecosystem as strong as possible to encourage more sales. That also includes not making us feel like they are going to lose a customer by selling our personal info for a comparatively small and short-term gain, or even risking its security in the case of iTunes Store, which is an ever growing concern that Apple will need to throw more and more and hope it?s enough.



    It?s not that one is any is better or worse, or more or less evil than the other. It?s just fundamental differences on their products and customers.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    But Google's revenue is not from selling your info. It's targeting advertising based on your marketing profile, but kept by Google. A big difference in my eyes.



    Apple also sees the importance of gathering user marketing stats, and willing to bend their own privacy policies to get what they need to deliver targeted iAds. Rather than their standard "Opt-in", they've chosen to use a rarely mentioned webpage to opt-out, something very few users would take the time to do if they were even aware of it. Apple keeps that detailed market data they collected on you and others to themselves just as Google does, and uses it to entice advertisers to trust Apple to deliver the message to the proper market.



    Other than on a smaller scale, I don't see that much difference with the way they each look at advertising revenue. They both want and need to harvest their users market data to deliver targeted services and ads to bring in increased revenues. Apple just has additional ways to get your money, so less emphasis on the advertising. . . for now.



    IMO this odd hatred for Google comes solely from the rumored "Steve Jobs stabbed in the back" story. Everything was hunky-dory when they were on-board with Apple's plans. If they were still partnered against the evil Microsoft there would be few if any complaints here about Google.



    This is a fascinating back-to-back couple comments, to me. I was completely on-board with solipsism's comment as I read it, and in fact I wrote something very similar just a few posts prior. But Gatorguy's comment is logical, and gave me pause. Why is that?



    After thinking about it for a few minutes, I still feel like Apple's model is less invasive. The difference to me is that I can use most of Apples products without passing along any personal profiling information, if I choose to. Well, almost none. The iPhone being an exception because of the data plan, but that's exactly why I don't own one (anon prepay, and I'm on board in a NY minute!) You can buy an iPod or a computer at any local Apple Store or Best Buy or wherever, pay cash and that's that. Clean and simple. You can even buy songs and apps on the iTunes store without being profiled (other than anonymously) by using iTunes gift cards, rather than tying your credit card to the account (which I think is crazy).



    However, the nature of Google's services, for the most part, are highly oriented around personal profiling. You can't use gmail without giving them access to some of your most personal data of all - your 'private' conversations! And to be quite honest, it's difficult to use the internet in general without giving Google a lot of personal information about yourself. Even if you use a different search engine, Adsense is everywhere, on millions of sites that you'll visit every day. That's valuable profiling info for Google. Google analytics is used on millions of sites that you'll visit every day, and most people haven't got a clue that they're giving Google data with every click.



    Even if you don't use gmail, if you have friends that use gmail that you correspond with, all those conversations now belong to Google as well. I take great pains to not give Google any personal information, but how does one opt out of this last one?!



    Google has their fingers in so many of our orifices all at the same time it's not even funny!
  • Reply 131 of 145
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    I'd like to think that most of our posts add to the discussion, with the ones that make us re-examine/question our own ideas and attitudes being some of the best.



    I have little patience for some who always appear to be in attack mode, angry young men so to speak. I pretty much ignore those. But a lively back and forth with good information, logical arguments and courtesy even tho one might disagree? It would be boring if we all thought alike.



    Who could expect more from a forum community.
  • Reply 132 of 145
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    But Google's revenue is not from selling your info. It's targeting advertising based on your marketing profile, but kept by Google. A big difference in my eyes.



    I think we?re talking about the same thing again, just from different perspectives and/or using different language. I?m not saying they are selling your info to anyone. They certainly aren?t doing what magazine publishers have historically done.



    Google revenue is from selling you. Your eyeballs, which it does by getting relevant ads to you with enough success that their customers are happy to pay them their fees.



    You mentioned their different ways of getting your money, but it?s in those different business models and core foci that backs what Melgross is saying. Even if Google doesn?t let go of the info I think there is plenty of evidence to show that Google collects a lot more about your habits than Apple ever has.



    But things could change if they move iAds to the web and offer MobileMe as a free, ad supported service.
  • Reply 133 of 145
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Mel , I didn't take you for a conspiracy theorist. Those are really silly statements, implying that Apple statements should be trusted because they were made by Apple, but Google should naturally be distrusted, because, after all, they aren't Apple.



    Steve Jobs was certainly stumbling all over himself to welcome them as partners just a few years ago. Claiming they've always been up to sneaky stuff paints Apple with the same brush doesn't it since they had to be aware of who they were?



    I'm going by what the CEO of Google at the time himself said. This isn't conspiracy theory. It's what the guy running Google himself claimed they would be doing. Conspiracy theory relies on unnamed sources, and made up "factoids" to confuse easily deceived people into believing nonsense as being reality. when the CEO of a company makes claims such as the ones he made, you should be taking it seriously.



    Remember that 97% of both Google's gross and net were from advertising. These are also public numbers reported by Google in its quarterly report.



    That makes Google a very different kind of company from Apple, which derives most of its sales from hardware. It means that personal information to Google, which we know they are collecting, because they've admitted so in the past, means a lot to what they do,, which is selling space for Ads in their search results, their various OS's, and the apps for those OS's.



    Don't forget that when using GMail, for example, every mail you get or send is kept by Google under your name, and the name of the sender, even though you delete them. Why would they do that? They do that to be able to data mine them for their own use, and for the use of their Ad clients.



    Don't be naive about Google. They are one of the most dangerous companies around today. They're getting a pass because they're being seen as cool, but they've got ideas you won't like if you understand where they're coming from.



    If Apple's business was composed of Ad revenue to the same percentage as Google's, I wouldn't trust what they said either, especially if Jobs had made the satements that Schmitt had made.
  • Reply 134 of 145
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post


    You know what they say: Trust, but Verify! ;-)



    I do believe the .db file comes from Apple, and I do believe them if they say the info we send to them is encrypted. But it's not really anonymous, because they know where it's coming from. It's like if I emailed you some "anonymized" data about myself. The data might be clean, but all you have to do is look at the email headers to know it's me! If you have a diligent data gathering process, you'll scoop that data out and disassociate it with the original email, and I hope they do that, but I don't know that we'll ever have insights into that level of detail.



    The other thing I'm still curious about is that in order for the .db data that's sent to the device to be relevant, geo-location data by necessity needs to be sent to Apple. Otherwise they wouldn't know which bits of data to send to the device. I feel like I'm still missing something here.



    The most important thing they said, and I hope I'm interpreting this correctly because it was worded oddly, is that if you opt out of location features, they won't send or gather this information at all. If the research detectives verify that to be true, then I think I'm satisfied. And I am NOT an easy person to satisfy with regards to privacy issues!



    On everything below regarding Google, I am in 100% agreement. I believe they're up against some tricky requirements as far as deletion of data, since some jurisdictions treat that as deleting evidence. But all-in-all, there was no excuse for what they did.



    Anonymizing means removing ALL references to the sender, including mail headers, etc. When this is done, it's done automatically.
  • Reply 135 of 145
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I'm going by what the CEO of Google at the time himself said. This isn't conspiracy theory. It's what the guy running Google himself claimed they would be doing. Conspiracy theory relies on unnamed sources, and made up "factoids" to confuse easily deceived people into believing nonsense as being reality. when the CEO of a company makes claims such as the ones he made, you should be taking it seriously.



    Remember that 97% of both Google's gross and net were from advertising. These are also public numbers reported by Google in its quarterly report.



    That makes Google a very different kind of company from Apple, which derives most of its sales from hardware. It means that personal information to Google, which we know they are collecting, because they've admitted so in the past, means a lot to what they do,, which is selling space for Ads in their search results, their various OS's, and the apps for those OS's.



    Don't forget that when using GMail, for example, every mail you get or send is kept by Google under your name, and the name of the sender, even though you delete them. Why would they do that? They do that to be able to data mine them for their own use, and for the use of their Ad clients.



    Don't be naive about Google. They are one of the most dangerous companies around today. They're getting a pass because they're being seen as cool, but they've got ideas you won't like if you understand where they're coming from.



    If Apple's business was composed of Ad revenue to the same percentage as Google's, I wouldn't trust what they said either, especially if Jobs had made the satements that Schmitt had made.



    I might agree with the spirit of your post if you hadn't cherry-picked statements without acknowledging the context they were plucked from. For instance I'm certain you're well aware the comment about moving came at the end of a long and less than amicable interview exchange. Definitely off the cuff and ill-advised, but I would actually be shocked if you believed that's the way Google feels about their customers. You don't take the assorted terse replies that Mr. Jobs has been prone to when irritated as the official stance of Apple. "That's just Steve".



    So yes, if you truly believe that Google is lying when they respond to official inquiries, and there's some secret plan to "get you", perhaps using emails you've written to your mistress as a bargaining chip, and support your belief with short incriminating clips of Google executive comments (of which there are only a handful in 10 years) as your proof then yes, I would consider that the stuff of conspiracy theorists.



    Actually I give you the benefit of doubt and chalk the comments up to supporting Apple and their policies by denigrating the competition. Apple is big and rich enough that they don't need that tho.
  • Reply 136 of 145
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    I might agree with the spirit of your post if you hadn't cherry-picked statements without acknowledging the context they were plucked from. For instance I'm certain you're well aware the comment about moving came at the end of a long and less than amicable interview exchange. Definitely off the cuff and ill-advised, but I would actually be shocked if you believed that's the way Google feels about their customers. You don't take the assorted terse replies that Mr. Jobs has been prone to when irritated as the official stance of Apple. "That's just Steve".



    Your first mistake is when you characterize us as their customers. We are not their customers. The Ad agencies and other companies that pay them money are their customers. We're just their free resourse for those customers.



    I read that interview. Yes, surprisingly, it wasn't the friendliest, which is good, as so many interviews with business leaders and politicians are just excuses to let them make their subjects look good, so that they can get more subjects.



    Nevertheless, he's a pretty smart guy, and shouldn't have said such a stupid thing. But in the context of all the other things he's said in his own speeches, it makes sense, and there's no way you can change that.



    As for Steve, well, he doesn't always think through what the consequences of his terse statements are going to be. But he never says anything like that. He's usually talking to some unhappy person who's making some complaint about a specific product. It's not at the same level.



    Quote:

    So yes, if you truly believe that Google is lying when they respond to official inquiries, and there's some secret plan to "get you", perhaps using emails you've written to your mistress as a bargaining chip, and support your belief with short incriminating clips of Google executive comments (of which there are only a handful in 10 years) as your proof then yes, I would consider that the stuff of conspiracy theorists.



    You're taking what I said to a whole other level. I never said that Google was trying to "get me". I merely wrote down his own words. Why do you have a problem with that? It's what HE said. According to that, Google must be collecting specific information on all its users. Information that it can connect to the individual. Otherwise, how would Google be able to know more about us than we do, or make decisions for us before we knew we wanted to make them? And according to him, as I seem to have to keep repeating, that's their goal.



    For some reason, you want to dismiss this. I don't know why. But when asked, he didn't deny it. Perhaps you're involved in a conspiracy of silence about it? You're in denial? You see, accusations can work both ways.



    I prefer to go by what a person actually says, and obviously, you don't. Do they talk about this all of the time? Of course not, I was surprised, as were a lot of people, that he said it at all. I imagine that despite his saying that he was the adult running Google, he's an adult with a run off mouth.



    Quote:

    Actually I give you the benefit of doubt and chalk the comments up to supporting Apple and their policies by denigrating the competition. Apple is big and rich enough that they don't need that tho.



    You can think what you like, but if Apple does what Google seems to be doing, I'll complain about that too. I imagine you have Google stock, and that's why you're defending them. And no, denying it won't matter, because this is the Internet, and we can't trust what anyone says, right?
  • Reply 137 of 145
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    Mel, if Google is up to sneaky and underhanded stuff, then explain why an "ethical" Apple would be so anxious to get in bed with them? If not for the supposed phone incident they might still be partners.



    Google stock. Damn I wish. I'd have dumped that 2 years ago rather than going thru savings like water.
  • Reply 138 of 145
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Mel, if Google is up to sneaky and underhanded stuff, then explain why an "ethical" Apple would be so anxious to get in bed with them? If not for the supposed phone incident they might still be partners.



    Google stock. Damn I wish. I'd have dumped that 2 years ago rather than going thru savings like water.



    I've done business with companies I wasn't happy with in areas that didn't concern me. Business is business. You don't have to do what they do, or even approve of it. As long as it doesn't affect you, and what they're doing isn't illegal in a way that will cause you problems, then sometimes you have no choice.



    Apple uses some apps and services Google offers. That's hardly getting in bed with them. And as we've been reading, apple wants to replace at least some of them with their own. Again, that's business.



    Besides, who says that all of these companies know exactly what all the others are doing in every area? And is it their business?



    Apple competes with Google, just like they compete with MS. And they do business with MS, even though they've been in Federal court twice for doing illegal things, even to Apple! But again, business is business. If a company isn't shut down, then you can work with them. You just have to be careful.



    The laws regarding privacy are still being worked out as regards the kinds of data we use today. Until the courts and Congress decide what can and can't be done, much of this may be unethical, even immoral, but not illegal. Unless and until it becomes so, all we can do is wave our fingers at them and say; shame.
  • Reply 139 of 145
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,088member
    Ah, you switched my question from Apple and Google a few years ago (Steve Jobs, long walks with Google founders, engineers sharing tech between the two companies, Google on stage side by side with Steve for the iPhone announcement) to "Gee, today they have to deal with them until they can be replaced".



    Mel, it would be beyond reasonable to think Steve Jobs didn't know all about Google and how they worked. You only have to go back a few weeks here to find AI articles on how well they knew each other. Remember Google, CEO, Steve Jobs? If they were really evil and unethical, Mr. Jobs knew that, yet still did all he could to bring them on board at Apple, both literally and figuratively. They didn't just become who they are in the last 24 months.



    So explain the reason why an "ethical" Apple bring a company on board as a high-profile partner with a special relationship if they were so obviously evil and dangerous as you so plainly see? That would make Apple equally as dangerous and evil since they were reported planning together on how to attack Microsoft's plans. Or Google is not the company you're trying to paint a picture of.
  • Reply 140 of 145
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post


    Ah, you switched my question from Apple and Google a few years ago (Steve Jobs, long walks with Google founders, engineers sharing tech between the two companies, Google on stage side by side with Steve for the iPhone announcement) to "Gee, today they have to deal with them until they can be replaced".



    Mel, it would be beyond reasonable to think Steve Jobs didn't know all about Google and how they worked. You only have to go back a few weeks here to find AI articles on how well they knew each other. Remember Google, CEO, Steve Jobs? If they were really evil and unethical, Mr. Jobs knew that, yet still did all he could to bring them on board at Apple, both literally and figuratively. They didn't just become who they are in the last 24 months.



    So explain the reason why an "ethical" Apple bring a company on board as a high-profile partner with a special relationship if they were so obviously evil and dangerous as you so plainly see? That would make Apple equally as dangerous and evil since they were reported planning together on how to attack Microsoft's plans. Or Google is not the company you're trying to paint a picture of.



    You seem to have cherrypicked from my post. I explained all of that. Besides, when Schmitt came aboard, he changed Google from what it was, and where it was going, but that took time, obviously.



    Your attempt at logic is faulty. Google has evolved over the years. I don't believe that the founders expected Google to be what it is today, and from what we see now with Brinn back in charge, they're changing direction.



    When you pick people to be on your board, you pick them for various reasons, one main reason is for visibility. It's not important what Google might be doing, as long as Schmitt was leading the company to be bigger and more profitable. That way, Apple could show that the people on the board are leaders in business.



    But from what Google ended up doing to Apple, in the underhanded way they did, we can see the way Schmitt thinks. apple got rid of him in the end, which shows that they lost any trust for him that they had in the beginning. That should show you their thoughts on the matter, though I suspect that you will ignore it.
Sign In or Register to comment.